A RELEASED killer who stabbed two people in Bridgwater just 20 months after being let out has been put back behind bars.

Matthew Bayle, 32, of George Street, Bridgwater, has a previous conviction for manslaughter after he strangled his girlfriend and set fire to her body in Gloucester in 2007.

Having been released in April 2015 after not being deemed a serious risk to the public by the parole board, Bayle moved to Bridgwater. 

However on December 4, 2016 Bayle's fearsome temper displayed itself once more with a 'terrifying' and unprovoked attack on a work colleague and her friend following a night out.

Sentencing, Judge David Evans said: "The incident happened at your flat on George Street in Bridgwater in the early hours of December 4 last year.

"After your release you had found a home and employment at B&M in Bridgwater but had returned to excessive drinking and drug taking which you knew could make you act aggressively.

The court heard that Bayle bumped into a work colleague and her friend on a night out in Bridgwater on December 3. Having initially bumped into them in a pub, they later saw each other again by a burger van in the town centre.

Bayle invited the pair, plus another friend back to his flat for further drinking and to take cocaine in the early hours.

"There were three visitors but one left within an hour. Your two other visitors, a male and a female soon fell asleep in your front room, nothing amiss had occurred," Judge Evans said.

"Not long before 7am the victim woke in a chair to find you sat astride him. He felt a pain in his cheek and you continued to stab him in the face and neck with a kitchen knife."

At this point the female woke up to see Bayle stabbing her friend who was covered in blood.

"The scene is an utterly terrifying one to contemplate. You then transferred your aggression to her and understandably she feared for her life," Judge Evans said. 

"You strangled her and she felt a slitting sensation on her face – she said you appeared to be giggling as you attacked her.

"Her friend then showed immense bravery, pulling you away allowing them to run from the flat. I can see you are a big man and it cannot have been easy."

The pair ran to the nearest petrol station and alerted the police. Bayle fled from the flat, wandering around Somerset until he was found and arrested on the Sunday evening on the A39 near Cannington.

The male victim suffered three wounds and he lost a lot of blood, the female victim has been left with a noticeable scar and lump, the court heard.

"In your police interview you admitted what you had done but gave a bizarre justification saying you did know where your wallet was and presumed the victim had stolen it. In no way does it justify the repeated blows or why you attacked the female victim," Judge Evans said.

A victim impact statement from the female victim was read out by Stephen Dent, prosecuting.

He outlined the severe effect it had on her, saying she was now scared to leave the house and had been unable to go back to work.

"Both your victims have been deeply troubled by your apparent lack of motivation, whether you can properly understand it I do not know," Judge Evans said.

Bayle was handed an extended sentence of 10 years for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, six of which he will serve in prison and four on license. He was given a second concurrent sentence of 16 months for a second count of wounding with intent to cause GBH.